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France 24 News

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00:31:00

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Russia 37, U.s. 9, Us 7, United States 6, Assad 5, France 3, America 3, Snowden 3, Obama 3, Stephen Fry 2, Moscow 2, Vancouver 2, Washington 2, Rusa Wa Ne 1, Theu 1, United Kingdom Between 1, Ba 1, David Cameron St. Obama 1, Edward Snowden 1, Kafka Or Orwell 1,
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  PBS    France 24 News    News  News/Business. New.  

    August 8, 2013
    5:00 - 5:31pm PDT  

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x because a new page of history gets written every day, because breaking news cannot wait to, information everywhere, in all situations, on every subject. understanding the world, imagining the world. france 24, a different take on the news.
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>> time for reminder of our top stories. the government deny rebel claims they hit the president's convoy. egypt's tense standoff continues. mohammed morsi's supporters again out on the street. two young british women who are recovering at a hospital in tanzania are surviving attack and zanzibar. the first attack of its kind in the popular tourist destination. the eid holiday marks the end of ramadan. authorities in italy said more
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than 500 migrants have been rescued in the mediterranean sea. there was another boat carrying 200 people who were picked up off the island. 100 people, mostly syrians, rescued off the coast. the burned remains of at least three paintings were found in rumania. >> a huge fire ripped through the nairobi international airport. because of the blaze remains unknown. authorities say they do not suspect terrorism. more news coming up in just under half hour. stay with us. >> time for us to bring you the
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second part of our debate. we are talking about why barack obama and vladimir putin will not be meeting. from syria to siberia, let's bring in our guest, a specialist in the american- russian relationship. and senior fellow ship at the partnership for secure america. was this just for a short time, he is a journalist at the russian service. halfway through this, you are off. we will get your thoughts in a moment. by satellite we have to guess, the director studies at the institute democracy, good to see. in washington d.c., the chief
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political columnist and one house correspondent for newsmax. what are the issues that could fit into something called human rights under the criminal justice system? your time is scarce. tell us what you have written about its implications and ramifications for all of us. >> i am following this case like you are for several years. each time there's something new, it gets more and more unbelievable if you have read kafka or orwell, this is nothing. they say the russian officials stole 230 million. people put him in prison when he testified and he stayed in prison 358 days after he was
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tortured and almost died. after this campaign started, the united states and europeans want to maybe discuss it. at the same time, russia saw european union will react in the same way the united states did. they decided to judge the dead man, he was found guilty, being dead, and his chief was sentenced to nine years in prison in russia. >> the idea of convicting someone who is dead does seem somewhat bizarre, almost medieval. in terms of talking about why this happened, how this happened, and what it means, it puts russia in a very, very curious light, being generous.
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what would you say to that? >> i don't agree. the edward snowden affair was not saw out by russia. >> but being judged after his death, it is bizarre, is it? >> i don't know much about the case. i would rather not comment on it. i was asked to come on the program to discuss american relations. >> there enough, we will leave it on that one. in terms of the snowden affair and other things happening with human rights and criminal justice in russia, we do not say it is all linked? if these two big giant countries -- there is a link there, isn't there creston >> i absolutely agree with you that there is a -- human rights has assumed a major role in the american, russian, and western russian relationship. i think that is a bad thing.
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there is a lot of jingoism, particularly from the united states, because of completely absurd allegations just now about russia bullying her neighbors. this is a kind of nonsensical fantasy we hear from russia all the time. >> i will give the guest you are criticizing a chance to reply now. we are here in the studio talking about why it is important for the u.s. to establish this. >> i will pick up on the narrative that has already begun. politically, congress has been quite active on human rights issues in russia. congress is particularly strong in their localities on human rights and trade issues with russia. while the executive power in the white house continues to make those points in that news, a lot of the bilateral discussions the white house has is over functional issues, supply lines in afghanistan, counter- terrorism issues, syria, the long list of issues as well as
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whatever nuclear arms control negotiations. congress has been passing these laws such as on responding to the affair and requiring additional sanctions and has tightened the noose. sometimes not necessarily on a synchronized timetable with the executive branch. let's say you are going into a negotiation, it might work the other side it just the wrong moment, but it is an important part of foreign policy. i think it will continue to be even more so now that the white house has said we cannot do anything else anyway. >> if snowden came out of the closet, where russia still grant him asylum? >> i don't know. let's bring it john back in to talk about the issue. let's put that question, if snowden came out of the closet,
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would roscius to grant him asylum, if he said he was gay? >> of course, the whole gay thing is the subject of ridiculous misrepresentation. the recent law is an almost exact copy of a law that we had in the united kingdom between 1988-2003. it merely prohibits the promotion of homosexuality to minors. the idea that there is some kind of persecution of homosexuals and russia is just as absurd as all the other ideas that are constantly bandied about on the lack of civil liberties in the country. it may not be comparable to the scale of the cold war, but there is an ideological difference between the west and russia. the west, for very long time, since before the end of the cold war, has embarked on a sort of's
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national -- and i would say's modern political project, in which nations states and other traditional structures like families are regarded as things of the past. russia, which of course experimented with leftism for 70 years and which saw itself as the avant -garde progressive -- >> i know you say russia does not ba homosexualssh but why is there a perception of that? >> precisely, russia has not followed the west on this what i call postmodern,'s family,'s national project which has engulfed all of the west, the united states as much us the. >> i think john is dreaming. i have a lot of friends in moscow who are gay comic if like
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-- who are gay, and if i tell my son i have friends who are gay and they are happy together, it would be considered like propaganda in front of minors. you cannot be gay in russia. if you've already have children, they are discussing the possibility to put these children in orphanages. for example, if i am in a couple with some and and i am in hospital, this person cannot take care of my child. there are all these kind of issues. i will not talk about how people are beaten and tortured because people think they are gay. this whole campaign was built in the russian social network. people try to catch young teenagers and make them testify on their comrade saying they are gay. they go to their teachers and parents. >> sadly, gay bashing is
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everywhere. there was a case in paris of a young gay man being beaten up. i have to point that out. and we bring in john just for a comment about -- jo was sayin ur claims about ossion in the neighboring states of rusa wa ne. i will give you the right to reply to that e. >> thank you. i would to say with respect to john, he should tune in some time to the france 24 interview with the daughter of the jailed madam is a guest, and she is frequently spelled out right in the studio for persecution and the heavy handedness in her country that is coming from the puti regime in moscow. i daresay if it were not for russian influence in ukraine, maybe he would not be in power and just mbe georgia would
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still be whole again. now, i would see also point out thatffair is very importa, the story of the blogger who could very well be a threato mr. putin in a fair elections sunday, and what he is gone through in being silenced in court. you were shaking your head. give us your first reaction to that. this is absolute rubbish. we debated that last week. he has not been silence. he has been convicted of embezzlement and has been released on appeal. and i reply? >> go ahead. >> again, this is fantasy. let's get a reality check. the conviction was for being excessively progression. that is the madness of the whole thing.
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the idea is completely absurd. the idea that he is in power only because of russia is equally absurd. these are fantasies and they are part of the ideological problem dividing russia and america. for as long as people believe these fantasies, the relationship will never recover. >> can we move on to one issue that i think is very much on people's minds? that is the issue of syria and the fact that the u.s. is on one side of the equation and russia is the only ally of any weight supporting syria. i will start here in the studio with oleg. in terms of moving toward a resolution in this problem, if theu.s. and russia are n talking, there will clearly be no advance on that issue. >> a few days ago we debated that issue in the studio and the
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picture is very bleak. it is already leading toward disaster, with probably assad standing on a heap of rubble saying yes, i won. because america and russia are not talking to each other, congratulations. >> there are already human rights violations. they do that very often themselves in the press, to keep that up. >> in terms of what is being said, what you are picking up from russia, any feeling among the people there they would like to change the state policy perhaps towards syria? >> the russian people? first, everybody understands why putin does -- as soon as he
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sees the region falling, he thinks he will be the next one. that is the problem, you cannot treat putin like any other leader. >> thank you very much indeed. >> on syria, think is a perfect case to look at how the complexities of this relationship might play out in the next month ahead. there was a big political message and response of calling off the summit. the symbolic move and at the top level things will be chilled for a while, i think you will still see the second level down trying to work very intently together, and they may actually be able to get things done in different ys. for example, saudi arabia into playing an interesting role right now with americans working with others to try to navigate
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the outside parties in the direction they want to go. we'll offer you some benefits the people back from assad. is the same message that washington may be sending, but it is coming from a different course. the same actors, still with a lot of obstacles ahead on syria, but not necessarily frozen. >> let me reassure you that we will be back in a moment. let's take a brief's in the debate and bring in our media editor here to see what is found on this issue on the internet. >> interesting that the reaction in the u.s. press, two nights ago was picked up as a headline in the u.s. press. for the washington post, is good that for once obama respected a
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red line. he has issued a number of red lines in the past. that is a phrase that is going to haunt him. >> they are pleased to see him respecting that red line. bluebird has done a press -- bloomberg has picked up on some things. on twitter they made light of the issue and mocked obama, saying obama will not seek pu tin because he is already seeing it snowden, almost treating him as a jilted lover. the dominant theory is that obama did not necessarily want to make these hostile moves but felt under domestic pressure to do so. elsewhere, a newspaper editor said that russia strictly speaking does not care, what can we expect from obama's visit?
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a second detente, but who even remembers the first one? >> some feel it should of been human rights violations in russia, not necessarily violations in the u.s. that would have triggered this particular attitude, which brings me to stephen fry's stance. he sent an open letter to david cameron st. obama has raised the issue as well of the olympics in russia, given their stance on -- >> is said to be the most expensive olympics ever. >> he took his argument very far and said that gays in russia are being treated as jews under hitler, and it is simply unacceptable that russia should host the olympics next year.
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elsewhere, in "forbes" magazine , it says the problem with stephen fry's letter is that it is sincere but very confused. and that it is a lot more complicated than that, that russia has imported positive ideas from the u.s. such as medicine and-ideas such as marxism. i am not sure if all the points in the article are valid. elsewhere in vancouver, having lunch date petition that vancouver would host the winter olympics instead of russia. thank you for those insights in a variety of issues. the issue about the russian people importing interesting ideas. i did a report once on the use
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of photo dynamic their peathera. it turned out to be something that did not quite work but was taken by dr. london and turn into something that actually did work. maybe there is room for development. let's bring in the two johns, joining us from bristol in the u.k. and washington respectively. if the u.s. and russia don't talk, how can there be any progress in syria? >> let's not forget that they are continuing to talk. the fact that the actual meeting has been cancelled as not mean they are not talking. i agree that an agreement between them would be very good for syria, but the key issue in the syrian problem is not the russian support for assad, as it
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is caricatured. that is a caricature of the russian position. the key issue in the syrian conflict is that the west policy is failing there. the west has come into this hearing conflict, which was basically an intra-arab and intra-muslim struggle which blew up into violence two years ago, and the west unequivocally took the side of the rebels, and its policy has failed. it has been unable to get the opposition to agree. it realizes that much of the opposition, if not most of it, is dominated by islamist, and very violent ones at that. that is the real issue in the syrian case. it is not the fact that russia is doing this or that. it is the idea of a democratic revolution in syria is complete nonsense. >> the weapons being used by assad's armies are undeniably from russia, that is a fact. people in the studio are
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agreeing with what you are saying. let's bring in john you might have a different perspective on this. do you agree that the west's policy exactly failing? >> at this point, the momentum certainly is not taking off. at the same time, this has gone back and forth, back and forth. i know the white house press secretary, jay carney, has never wavered from the official line that assad is on the wrong side of history. were he to survive in a peloponnesos more kind of triumph, he would simply be a pariah to the rest of the world, as would syria. my guest will be that eventually, the freeze syrian army will be united and come together. as to johns remark that is totally dominated by islamists, that flies in the face of every report that says it is 60% secular, 40% islamist right now.
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that was the report that senator mccain gave when he came back from meeting with them. no, it is long, hard road. russia's vetoed resolutions that might have ended this a long time ago. but again, freedom is a hard thing to pin down. >> let's give you a tweet that just came in. obama cancel the meeting with putin and the russians are the ones blocking diplomacy. >> it has been said a couple of times that the diplomacy has continued, just a different levels. they are having meetings with senior russian official tomorrow. the work will continue. the tone will be tense, the challenges like syria are just
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as long and hard as the word yesterday. >> we could go on for a long list. >> i think we are facing an interesting couple of months now that rouhanii has opened the door for more serious negotiations, we will quickly get to conversations within the group saying we open up negotiations, now what do we put back on the table? that means the u.s., russia, all the same party is going back to the desk. there are a lot of tough things on the agenda the next few months. >> conversations are continuing, but they have a choice between a bloody dictatorship supported by russia and a bloody anarchy caused by the united states believed that it can build some kind of democratic regime.
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what are they going to talk about and how will these conversations end? >> this is where it is important to have human rights. if human rights were as important in the united states as the american government claims they are, and if the kremlin actually respected and committed to human rights, and i would like to remind that the u.s.s.r. is a signatory of the 1948 universal declaration, the international covenant for economic, social, and cultural rights. there should be a commitment. we would not be in this mess. there would be something to build upon. >> we are running out of time. in terms of the human rights issue, russia has a lot to do. >> that is the caricature, isn't it?
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i have heard different points of view. some of them have said it, but in my view, it is largely exaggerated and largely a caricature. and certain issues, there's a greater freedom of expression in russia than there is in the west. this course in the west has narrowed and is narrowing, and russia, after 70 years of dictatorship, has experience and is continuing to experience a freedom which in some respects, we don't enjoy in the west anymore. >> i need to's you there, i am very sorry. we are out of time. -- i need to pause you there. thank you very much for joining us, our correspondent there in washington.
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thank you for watching, this has been france 24 debate. do stay with us. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
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welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. people from across japan and around the world will soon fill a park in nagasaki to remember the city's darkest day. 68 years ago the u.s. military dropped an atomic bomb there three days after it attacked hiroshima. the mayor of nagasakiy is expected to urge the japanese government to do more to